I love doing side project. It is fun, it gives me time off to pick up a new skill and something I called my own. Of course, the best would be that the side project takes off and you become special.
Do you use the mobile application SG NextBus? – It estimates the arrival times of all SBS and SMRT buses. The creator of the app is Hon Cheng, he created the app during his free time just like what many of us use for our side projects. The project took off and the app now is well received by many commuters (including me). Now he has become “special”, because he is no longer known as average developer but known as the guy who created SG NextBus. And indeed it is very impressive to own an application that benefit so many people.
plus I personally think “side projects are important for independent developers”
What about the side projects that are not successful?
For the many side projects that got successful, there are a ton that just went dead. And I like to share my learnings with you today. The side project is “Startups In Singapore” – It is a project that finds a startup entrepreneur each week for 52 weeks to tweet for a common twitter account, this idea is “stolen” from the “Rotation Curation Movement” which started in Sweden.
Humans are greedy creature
When I first read about the “Rotation Curation Movement” and how successful it was for Sweden, I was inspired. I thought I could do the same for the Startup community in Singapore, I even dreamt that it would become a movement in the Asia startup scene.
But I was too greedy, I wanted to do many things at the same time. Chris ask me if I wanted to be part of his co-host for launchbyte, I agreed. Because I thought I would be able to managed but I am wrong. I could not manage. I neglected the project and started to lose motivation on it. I feel real bad about it.
Learning: I only have 24 hours in a day, I should be focus in what I do.
It is easy to start but difficult to maintain
It is easy to start a project, something like “Startups In Singapore” involves the setting up of a wordpress blog and a twitter account and that can be done within a few hours. The true labour and challenge comes in finding entrepreneurs who are will to be part of the project, especially taking their precious time off to tweet for an account that does not even have 500 followers.
I remembered I spoke to an entrepreneur asking if he would be interested to help me tweet for a week. He responded, “Sure, but is their media coverage or big publicity for this? otherwise it would be a waste of time. I started thinking “WTF”, this is helping the local startup scene, why are you asking for publicity. Looking back, I understand now. I have nothing to offer for the entrepreneurs to help. The selling point of “helping the local startup scene” is just not enough to ask for.
**To fellow entrepreneurs and friends who contributed “Thank you so much for your time, you are amazing”
I find it hard to quit
Initially, I find it hard to write this post especially about me killing a project I started. The feeling is pretty similar to quitting. And the word “Quit” is something I hardly hear people say in the startup scene. I think this is because entrepreneurs are expected to be strong, we are supposed to go against all odds and make the win.
a winner never quits, and a quitter never wins.
To which Freakonomics Radio says … Are you sure? Sometimes quitting is strategic, and sometimes it can be your best possible plan.
This project has been there doing nothing for weeks and it is affecting me, there is a dissatisfaction feeling that keeps loitering around. So I decided to write out this post to call it quit.
I’m feeling so much better after I write it out because I do not have to worry about it anymore. And of course now to focus on my other side project. and oh Github – my favorite startup company also started off as an side project
Image credit – [austinkleon.com]